The Indians signed infielder Jose Ramirez to a four-year contract extension on Friday, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports.
Ramirez’s deal guarantees him $26 million and includes two club options. The deal will take effect next season, giving the Indians the possibility of having him through 2023. Passan’s sources also said that if Cleveland exercises the options, Ramirez could make $50 million over the entire contract.
The deal now gives the Indians a nucleus of players in Cy Young winner Corey Kluber, All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis and starter Carlos Carrasco who are under contract through at least 2020. Ramirez had a breakout season last year while playing second base, third base, shortstop and outfield, hitting .312/.363/.462 with 46 doubles (second most in the American League), 11 home runs, 76 RBI and 22 stolen bases.
In the Indians’ run to the World Series, he shined the most in the Fall Classic, slashing .310/.333/.448 while tying for a team-high nine hits, including a solo homer in Game 5. He also stood out in the ALDS by batting .500/.583/.600 in the Indians’ sweep of the Red Sox.
Ramirez is set to be the Indians’ starting third baseman, but may have to play second for the defending American League champions to start the year with Kipnis sidelined for a couple of weeks due to shoulder inflammation. His signing also give the Indians one of the best infields in baseball, along with rising star shortstop Francisco Lindor and veteran first baseman Carlos Santana.